Tuesday is the only day of the week when I don't train clients. It's my get stuff done day where I get to work on my web projects. My typical Tuesday consists of me getting up around 7 am, getting a quick gyms session in followed by breakfast and with any luck I'm sat in my local Costa Coffee in Wilmslow with a large Americano and my laptop open ready to get cracking.
Yesterday wasn't much different to any other Tuesday except next to me was a woman who owned a physio practice in her new town explaining to her friend about some new SEO advice when has been given. Basically this advice was that Google no longer counts links for SEO or ranking and anyone who was doing this was wasting their time.
If you are trying to get your fitness or personal training site higher on Google you should still be building links back to your site as part of your overall strategy. Yes it is true that Google puts less emphasis on links as it used to, at least spammy and non relevant links, but link building in the right way is far from obsolete. Most of you reading this blog will be business owners who service your clients in your local area I'm guessing?
What Does Google Want
Basically they want exactly the same as your customers. Put yourself in Google's shoes for a minute. They are pushing towards local ranking factors more than ever, which means as well as good social media presence you need to get links from local websites. Getting these local links is one of the fastest ways to clime the rankings for personal trainer in your town.
So how can you get quality links in to benefit from the traffic Google can potentially send you?
How You Can Get Local Links Easily and Effortlessly
If you are based in Birmingham for example you want to get links from business and sites that are based in that area. Local directories that service Birmingham are a great place to start but there are lots of different ways to get higher quality links that the chances are our competition wont be doing. Here are some of them
Partner with local business.
Approach local businesses such as physios, hairdressers, beauty salons, clothing shops and cafes and explain to them that you are looking for a place to refer your boot camp or personal training clients to. In exchange for this all you want is a link back to your site. You cold also ask for a discount for your members as well buy you need to approach it from the point of view that you are doing a favour for them.
If you can get an article in the local paper along with your website there is a good chance that it will be in the online version as well which means you will probably also get a link back to your website. Google is going to look on this pretty favorably especially if the paper is a trusted resource. You can check out Yvonne Radley's Big Me Up Media for more help with this sort of stuff
Local blog commenting
Get participating in local blogs and comment on relevant topics. Always think in terms of quality over quantity and please do not spam comment or fill in “personal trainer your town” in the name field. This will just annoy the blog owners and get your comments marked as spam.
Guest blogging on local niche sites can be a great way to get some links in. Currently I try and do 1 guest blog a week and have even got guest blogs on other personal trainers sites and nutrition blogs. Site owners are always looking for new content and will always be happy to put your article up as long as it's good quality and will benefit their readers without being in direct competition with them.
Donate To Local Charities
Ask some smaller charities in your area if you can make a donation in exchange e for a link back to your fit pr site. Many will be only too happy to oblige here.
Sponsor Local Uni Groups
This is a bit of a ninja tactic as links from education establishments carry much more weight over normal links. Most uni groups will have their own websites and they will be hosted on the uni domains which are .ac.uk for the uk or .edu for the USA. You could sponsor a sports team or even a cooking society.
Testimonials for Links
If you use a local printing business or designer or even your web guy. You should offer to give them a testimonial for their own site as long as they link it back to you. Obviously only leave a testimonial for a company that you have actually used and only if you felt the service was worthy of a great testimonial. What I'm saying is don't sacrifice the truth just to get a link. It may come back to bite you on the ass.
The Last Word
Have a think and try and get creative. How can you get a link on your local council's website for example? This will give you massive Google credibility.
The thing is to remember though that these things take time and that success in getting to the top of Google generally doesn't happen overnight, despite what some shady so called experts will tell you/ Slow and steady will always win the race to the summit, and keep you there long term.